June 5, 2007
Minnesota Democrats who run the Legislature in St. Paul recently pushed through a big tax and spending increase in their $35 billion state budget. But Republican Governor Tim Pawlenty responded with veto power, providing good effect on policy and making himself more popular in the state, says the Wall Street Journal.
- The Democratic plan would have raised the state's top marginal income tax rate to 9.7 percent from 7.85 percent; right up there with California, New York and New Jersey in the top five of confiscatory taxation states.
- In all, Democrats wanted to raise some $5 billion in income taxes, and new taxes on gas, beer, real estate transactions, cell phones and even a strange new death tax: a tripling of taxes on hearses.
- These would have raised taxes by about $2,000 for every income tax filer in the state.
One reason Congressional Republicans were run out of their majority was because they lost their "brand" identity as conservative fiscal stewards, says the Journal. Gov. Pawlenty narrowly survived re-election in that year. Now he's shrewdly expending political capital to good effect to beat back Democratic tax-and-spend policies that could damage Minnesota for years to come. Are Republicans in Washington paying attention?
Source: Editorial, "Governor Veto," Wall Street Journal, June 5, 2007.
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